Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Did "Derren Brown Investigates" Change Your Mind About Psychics?

The recent "Derren Brown Investigates" series was designed, obviously, to convince people that psychics are all frauds. I happen to agree with that sentiment, but I also recognize the futility of trying to change anyone's mind about anything.

I was amused, therefore, to read a June 5th article in the Aberdeen Press and Journal [I would provide a link but I can't find it online] that describes an episode of the show, and then states:

"I would love to see Derren Brown come up against a genuine psychic some day, but since he seems to hand pick the most outrageous charlatans he can find, you don't have to be a fortune teller to know it's never going to happen."

I'm afraid that Derren's effort to reveal psychics as fakes, while entertaining, is probably not changing very many minds. Those who believe real psychics exist will always just claim that DB is cherry-picking his victims. The show is entertaining, though, which I guess is the point.


djin said...

I think you are missing the point if you believe that Derren Brown is out to show Psychics as ALL fakes, he is merely showing how easy it is to become convinced in the unknown as most of us do.

The purpose of Derren Brown's shows are to reveal that there is a methodology to turn an already curious mind into a staunch believer.

No one is saying that genuine Psychics do not exist but unfortunately there is now an industry full of them out to make a quick buck and when they do get caught their excuse is always "I provide closure to those who need it", whether this is right or wrong is irrelevant but forcing someone to believe by using underhand means is ethically wrong, whereas is you have already made your mind up to believe then that is down to you.

The mind is always an enigma.

William_Tapscott said...


That's a fair point. Derren himself says (on his show) that he would like to encounter a legitimate psychic. Between his shows and his book, though, it is pretty clear that he does not believe genuine psychics exist.

Regardless, though, we can all agree that, as you say, using dishonest means to deceive people about psychic powers is wrong.